Superintendent continues conversations with stakeholders

Published 10:17 pm Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Having hit the 30-day mark of his time as superintendent of Suffolk Public Schools, Dr. John B. Gordon said he is moving into a new phase now that he has visited all of the division’s schools.

During the School Board’s Nov. 14 meeting, Gordon said he is currently making the rounds at faculty meetings at every division school and asking several questions of all of them – what is it you like about SPS, what’s one thing would you change about SPS and why, and how can the school administrative office support them.

“I’m a strong believer (in) keeping kids first,” Gordon said. “I’m also a strong believer that the school administrative office is there to support the administrators. Administrators are there to support and serve teachers and teachers are there to support and serve our students and the school community.”
He said everyone has to be on the same page for that to happen.

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“I want to let our entire school community and the city of Suffolk know this is just the beginning,” Gordon said. “We have some really important things that we’re going to be releasing to you all over the next two months – that’s my teaser right there – things that we really believe is going to take instruction to the next level, collaboration to the next level and also to continue to have two-way communication with the city of Suffolk.”

Gordon praised previous superintendent Dr. Deran Whitney for laying the groundwork with improved on-time graduation rates and full accreditation of the school division.

“We have some great leaders here, and the city has, really, shown me so much love,” Gordon said. “They’ve given me feedback on what they think needs to happen. They’ve also taken the time to praise all of the hard work that Dr. Whitney had put forth, because the foundation is there.”

With the foundation there, Gordon has been engaging in dialogue with not only teachers, parents and students, but also to groups like the Suffolk Rotary Club and the community at large. He said it was his job to keep the vision moving forward.

“It is my job, and it is my goal, to make Suffolk Public Schools the premier school division in the state first, and then in the nation second,” Gordon said. “And I actually think that we are on our way.”